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Toploader are a British alternative rock band, hailing from Eastbourne, East Sussex, who formed in 1997,[1] with over two million album sales and a string of top 20 hits both home and abroad. Their debut album, Onka's Big Moka, sold over one million units and peaked in the Top 5 of the UK Albums Chart. They are recognised most of all for their cover of King Harvest's US hit "Dancing in the Moonlight" written by Sherman Kelly, which became a global hit for the band. Their second album, Magic Hotel, reached number 3 in the UK Albums Chart. Their third album, Only Human, was released in 2011; their comeback single "Turn It Around" was released in 2013.

Joseph Washbourn (Toploader) Godiva Festival 2009.jpg
Joseph Washbourn
Background information
OriginEastbourne, East Sussex, England
GenresPost-Britpop, alternative rock
Years active1997–2003
Underdogs Music
MembersJoseph Washbourn
Dan Hipgrave
Matt Knight
Rob Green
Past membersJulian Deane


Toploader performing at The Doghouse in Dundee in October 2011.

Toploader's live career began playing with Coldplay and Muse in small venues across the UK. They later went on to support Paul Weller, Robbie Williams and Bon Jovi, becoming the last British band to play in the original Wembley Stadium.

The band had a huge hit with their first album, Onka's Big Moka, which was released in 2000. It debuted at number five in the UK charts. They released a second album, Magic Hotel, in 2003. The album was poorly received by critics and failed to match the success of the first.[2] They struggled with a backlash from the UK music press and their single, "Time of My Life", could only make it into the Top 20. They would soon be dropped by their record label S2.[2] After an extended hiatus, Toploader signed a one-album deal with Underdogs Music[3] for their third album, which was released in June 2011. The album's title was Only Human, and the first single from it, "Never Stop Wondering", was released on 14 March 2011. Another single, "A Balance to All Things" (featuring a remix from Ash Howes), followed on 20 June 2011.

The present band line-up contains four of the five original members: Joseph Washbourn, Dan Hipgrave, Rob Green and Matt Knight.

On 28 April 2012, they performed at the University of Gloucestershire Student Union Summerball. They also performed at Aberystwyth University's May Ball on 11 May 2012. In May 2012, they played at Lakefest festival.[4] They also played at the Tiree Music Festival in July 2012. During 2012 the band agreed to act as patrons for a UK-based children's charity called 'Time Is Precious'.[5] In November 2012 they performed a gig in Frome, Somerset with all proceeds going to the charity, which helps ill children and their families.

In 2013, Toploader released a new single "Turn It Around", co-written with Eg White and produced by Andrew Green. The song is included on a four-song EP. In the summer of 2013 they headlined the LeeStock Music Festival in Suffolk and the AmpRocks Festival in Bedfordshire.[6][7]


Current members

  • Joseph Washbourn – vocals, keyboard, organ, piano, acoustic guitar (1997–2003, 2009–present)
  • Dan Hipgrave – guitars, backing vocals (1997–2003, 2009–present)
  • Matt Knight – bass, backing vocals (1997–2003, 2009–present)
  • Rob Green – drums, percussion (1997–2003, 2009–present)

Former members

  • Julian Deane – guitars, backing vocals (1997–2003)


Studio albumsEdit

Year Album details Peak chart positions Certifications
(sales thresholds)
1999 Onka's Big Moka 4 99 86
2002 Magic Hotel
  • Released: 19 August 2002
  • Label: S2
  • Formats: CD, cassette, vinyl, digital download
2011 Only Human
  • Released: 6 June 2011
  • Label: Underdogs Music
  • Formats: CD, digital download
2017 Seeing Stars
  • Released: 12 May 2017
  • Label: Toploader
  • Formats: CD-R, digital download

Compilation albumsEdit

Year Album details
2009 Dancing in the Moonlight – The Best of Toploader
  • Released: 9 March 2009
  • Label: Sony CMG
  • Formats: CD, digital download


Year Single Peak chart positions Album
1999 "Achilles Heel" 64 Onka's Big Moka
"Let the People Know" 52
2000 "Dancing in the Moonlight" 19 12 52
"Achilles Heel" (re-release) 8 80
"Just Hold On" 20
"Dancing in the Moonlight" (re-release) 7 9
2001 "Only for a While" 19
2002 "Time of My Life" 18 95 Magic Hotel
"Some Kind of Wonderful" 76
2011 "Never Stop Wondering" Only Human
"A Balance to All Things"
"She Said"
2013 "Turn It Around" Non-album single
"This Is the Night"
2017 "Roll with the Punches" Seeing Stars


  1. ^ "CD Reviews: The Beta Band, Default, Toploader and many more". Chart Attack, July 17, 2001
  2. ^ a b "Pop band Toploader split". BBC. 25 March 2003. Retrieved 8 August 2013.
  3. ^ "Underdogs Music". Retrieved 27 April 2012.
  4. ^ "Lakefest 2012: Line-up 2012". 20 January 2012. Archived from the original on 19 April 2012. Retrieved 27 April 2012. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  5. ^ [1] Archived 2 November 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ "LeeStock Headliners Announced". Retrieved 15 May 2013.
  7. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 9 July 2013. Retrieved 13 December 2013. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  8. ^ a b "TOPLOADER – The Official Charts Company". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 7 July 2019.
  9. ^ a b Peaks in Australia:
  10. ^ a b " – Discography Toploader". Hung Medien. Retrieved 16 April 2017.
  11. ^ "Certified Awards Search: Toploader". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 7 June 2011.
  12. ^ "Toploader, Magic, Album – bpi". Retrieved 7 June 2018.
  13. ^ "Chart Log UK: DJ T – Tzant". Zobbel. Retrieved 7 June 2011.
  14. ^

External linksEdit